Antibiotic Resistance Lab

Grade Levels
8th - 10th
Formats Included
  • PDF
13 pages
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In this lab, students will investigate the effect of antibiotic resistance on a population of pathogenic bacteria through a simulation with beads and dice. The different colored beads will represent variation in the bacteria (low, medium and high resistance.) The die will be rolled to determine whether or not the student remembers to take their antibiotics, as prescribed. Each student or pair of students will collect 10 rounds of data to graph, analyze, and write a conclusion from. This lab is a great opportunity to have your students write a formal lab report if that is a skill you wish to practice with them. This is an excellent lab to help your students visualize and understand the effect of antibiotic resistance, and is great to use in a classroom with limited space and materials, because you don’t need much!

*NOTE* Do not purchase if you have already purchased my Pathogens Mini-Unit or Biology Complete Curriculum Bundle because you already have this product!

How can I use this?

  • Real-world application of evolution by natural selection
  • When teaching about antibiotics as treatment for bacterial diseases in an anatomy and physiology unit/course

What is included?

  • 3 pages of teacher implementation notes
  • 5 pages of student handouts
  • Answer Key

How much class time will this take?

This lab tends to take 1.5-2 hours to complete. Ideas for extension after completing this lab are also included, if you wish to spend more time on this topic.

How does this connect to NGSS*?

This lab simulation addresses the following standards:

  • HS-LS4-2: Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
  • HS-LS4-4: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.

It also incorporates the following science and engineering practices:

  • Ask questions and define problems
  • Develop and use models
  • Plan and carry out investigations
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Use math and computational thinking
  • Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information

Lastly, it connects to the following crosscutting concepts:

  • Patterns
  • Cause and effect
  • Stability and change

What if I want more?

This product is part of my Pathogens Mini-Unit bundle. If you want more NGSS resources related to the topic of disease, check out the mini-unit here!

What if I have a question?

Email me at I’d love to answer any questions you have!

How do I stay updated on new products, sales, blogposts, and freebies?

Follow me on TpT, join my email list, or follow me on Instagram. These are the three best ways to keep up with what’s happening at It’s Not Rocket Science!


You may:

  • Use this item for your own classroom, students, or for your own personal use.
  • Buy additional licenses for others to use this product at a discount by visiting your TpT “My Purchases” page.
  • Review this product to recommend others buy it in blog posts, at professional development workshops, or other venues as long as credit is given to my store with a direct link to my store/product.

You may not:

  • Upload this product to any unsecured website or server that other teachers can access for free.
  • Give this product to others without the purchase of an additional license for them (this includes emailing, printing copies, or sharing through a website, cloud or other network.)
  • Copy or modify any part of this document to offer others for free or for sale.

*Note: NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.

Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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